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Profile of lboudreau
I love the Faro for card control, but I can’t do perfect Faros consistently. So, I rely on a series of binary cuts. They allow me to access any card in the deck – and do it in seconds. Binary cuts are as precise as the Faro for locating a card and who doesn’t know how to cut cards? An effect called “Significant Bits” in my book Spirited Pasteboards (1987) contains an early version of this approach.

With binary cuts, mental dexterity replaces manual dexterity. To access any quadrant in the deck, I use two binary cuts. They’re indicated by the following code if read from left to right: “0” means “keep the top half and discard the bottom half” and “1” means “keep the bottom half and discard the top half.”

00 accesses quadrant 1, cards 1-13
01 accesses quadrant 2, cards 14-26
10 accesses quadrant 3, cards 27-39
11 accesses quadrant 4, cards 40-52

For instance, “10” means cut the deck in half and keep the bottom 26 cards. Then, cut those cards in half and keep the top 13.

At this point, if the card I desire is among the first 7 in the quadrant, I keep the top 8 cards and discard the rest. If the card is among the bottom 6 in the quadrant, I keep the bottom 8 cards and discard the rest. In other words, I retain a binary-sized packet so I can conclude with 3 quick binary cuts.

000 accesses card 1
001 accesses card 2
010 accesses card 3
011 accesses card 4
100 accesses card 5
101 accesses card 6
110 accesses card 7

010 accesses card 8
011 accesses card 9
100 accesses card 10
101 accesses card 11
110 accesses card 12
111 accesses card 13

This process really pays off when I let the spectator pick which half to eliminate at each step. A particularly deceptive form of Equivoque makes it seem as if the spectator picked the sequence.
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
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